22 January 2009

Your Oscar Nominations Reading List

Randy Shilts, THE MAYOR OF CASTRO STREET. The screenplay for Best Picture nominee "Milk" by Dustin Lance Black was nominated in the original category, but I read somewhere that Black consulted this book by the author of AND THE BAND PLAYED ON while writing it.

Vikas Swarup, Q AND A. I didn't have time to read this before I caught up with Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire," a movie I'm hoping to see again before the Academy Awards. (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay)

Bernhard Schlink, THE READER. I just found out that the author of this mid-century drama is a former law professor and judge, which (if you know anything about this movie) definitely sheds some light on its subject matter. (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress-Kate Winslet)

F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" As I said when I wrote about it a few weeks ago, it's just a short story -- what do you have to lose? And with 13 nominations overall (among them Best Picture, Best Actor-Brad Pitt and Best Director), you'll get the most bang for your buck.

Two plays-turned-Oscar-nominated movies: John Patrick Shanley, "Doubt" (Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress-Meryl Streep, Best Supporting Actor-P.S. Hoffman and two in the Best Supporting Actress category, Amy Adams and Viola Davis) and Peter Morgan, "Frost/Nixon" (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor-Frank Langella). It's a great year for drama to be represented overall -- playwright Martin McDonagh got a screenwriting nod for his first movie "In Bruges," Hoffman co-founded his own theatre company and Best Supporting Actor nominee Michael Shannon is an Off-Broadway all-star.

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